5 Things About “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
And, five or so things about it you might not know.
First, the performance
It was introduced by Judy Garland in the 1944 film, “Meet Me in St. Louis“, a huge hit, second only to Gone with the Wind in gross receipts for MGM. In the 50’s, Frank Sinatra recorded the song as well and his modified version is the one most of us are familiar with today.
Written by Hugh Martin of Birmingham, Alabama and Ralph Blane of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Martin claims he actually wrote the words and lyrics to all the tunes in that movie but shared with Blane out of “naivete”. Martin became a close friend of Garland and was her accompanist at many of her concert performances in the 1950s.
In 2008, the Recording Industry of America acclaimed the song as the third most performed song 2002=2007. In the Country format, Martina McBride’s version is the most played.
The song was sung on Christmas Eve to Esther, Judy Garland’s sister portrayed by the wonderful Margaret O’Brien. In the film they have just found out they are moving from St Louis to New York. The tune is supposed to cheer up the little girl. It’s a wonder she didn’t jump into the Mississippi river. Just shows what an actress Ms. O’Brien was — she won an Oscar for her performance.
Before and After
The song became extremely popular with soldiers serving overseas during WW II. In 2001 Martin rewrote his song as “Have Yourself A Blessed Little Christmas”, which was more religious in nature.